Beatport is Discouraging the use of Lossless stems in their remix contests...
Well I recently contacted Beatport about their Black Eyed Peas remix contest - First of all they want you to pay $4.99 for the stems, which I found interesting, but after some thought decided why not... I have my checkout automatically set to WAV and was surprised to see a total of $26.99 when I was about to checkout. I contacted them and apparently they want you to use the MP3 stems and will charge you $22 in "WAV handling fees" if you want a better quality sound... Now personally I don't see why they don't give you the WAV files, but maybe they have their justifications. I just wanted to put my experience out there for everyone to know that this is going on. Here is my line of inquiry and response from Beatport:
I just received an e-mail about the Black Eyed Peas Remix contest which sounds quite cool and i'm interested in participating. I take my remixing serious enough to pay the $4.99 for the tracks, but it's giving me a WAV handling fee of $22. So while i would pay $4.99, i wouldn't pay $26.99. Is this how much it's supposed to cost to participate in the contest? Thank you for any clarification. Joseph
Thanks for getting in touch. So that everyone enters the competition on a level playing-field we only offer the bundle package for mp3. This is to make sure that no one's entry is unfairly discriminated against. If you check the rules of the competition you will find this in article 1.
I am afraid we can offer no discount for the WAV package. I apologise for any inconvenience.
Don't hesitate to give me a shout if you have any further questions.
All the best,
Thank you for your speedy response. I can only say that I am quite perplexed why the contest is set up this way. If I am going to invest my time and energy into doing a remix, it must be done proper, and I find it completely insufficient to do a professional remix with MP3 stems...Now perhaps Beatport sees this differently, but to me paying $27 for the proper tools to do a Black Eyed Peas remix is unacceptable. Are you saying that "so that everyone enters the competition on a level playing-field" and "no one's entry is unfairly discriminated against" you are encouraging producers to use sub-quality, lossy source material? If anything all remixers should be provided with the original WAV stems for $4.99; most remix contests that i've seen out there do not even require you to purchase the stems, let alone pay such large WAV "handling fees". Besides, if anything it creates an unfair advantage to those who have enough money where $27 for higher quality stems is of no consequence. It favors those who are willing to pay that much for the WAV files...I hope you can have the contest organizers address this issue that I see as a flaw in the contest and an unprofessional approach to conducting business, especially in terms of artistic integrity; If you expect people to create a professional remix than they need access to the lossless files at a fair price. If this discussion is felt to be irrelevant for Beatport then I would feel obligated to take the discussion to the larger community of DJ's, Musicians and Producers in order to establish a dialogue on what constitutes a proper remix contest and whether charging $27 for the lossless WAV stems is the appropriate way to "level the playing field".
I appreciate your concerns, however please bear in mind that this is a competition, not a commission from a label to produce a remix. We have run dozens of remix competitions to date and this has always been our policy, despite each time there surfacing a handful of protest similar to yours to the contrary. It is not at all that we expect people to pay large sums of money for the lossless files, rather that we actively discourage it (hence the lack of bundle discount).
There is absolutely no need to use compressed lossless parts to enter this contest. If your remix is chosen as winner, then you will of course be afforded the time and resources to produce it with lossless parts.
It is not a question of artist integrity, rather an invitation to be as musically creative as you can with the resources available.
Remember the maxim: a bad worksman always blames his tools!
All the best,
I do understand that this has been Beatport's policy for many contests, but I don't see why you don't offer the WAV files to everyone entering the contest instead; it looks more professional to you and is certainly worth it to the producers working hard on their remixes... So if they should win and be "afforded the time and resources to produce it with lossless parts" they have to put the whole remix back together again? This is a counter productive policy, and I would at least like to know why the MP3 stems are provided instead of WAV. Is it the higher hosting cost for the larger WAV files? And why are you "actively discourage" the use of better quality source material for your remix contests? Please consider having a "level playing field" by providing all with the proper tools to do a proper and better sounding remix, the WAV file bundle.
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All the best,
I know it's quite the lengthy bit, but I found this exchange interesting. He wouldn't give me a reason why the will provide only the MP3 files (is the hosting cost really that much more to provide access to the WAVs? Maybe it is...?) And I do agree that this is a contest and not a licensed remix gig, so you have to play by their rules. But I guess i'm just interested to see how people feel about the situation. It is an especially relevant issue for me since I have recently switched to all lossless files as sample sources and really hear the difference, it's quite fantastic actually. In any case, interested to hear peoples opinions. - Joseph